By Kevin Davis
The man keeps turning back the hands of time, with wisdom and knowledge of the game. 48-year-old IBF light heavyweight champion Bernard Hopkins (54-6-2, 32 KOs) scored a twelve round unanimous decision over mandatory challenger Karo Murat (25-2-1, 15 KOs) on Saturday night at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City. Murat was busier early on, but Hopkins became more aggressive in round four and was willing to trade with Murat. Hopkins kissed Murat twice during a clinch in round five.
Murat was deducted a point by referee Steve Smoger for hitting on the break in round seven. By round eight, Hopkins seemed to be looking for the KO, showing total distain for Murat’s punching power. Murat landed some good shots in round nine, but Hopkins looked much fresher down the stretch. Hopkins could be heard saying “I need the knockout” in his corner before the final round, and he tried, hurting Murat several times. Murat slowed Hopkins’ attack with some late fouls. Scores were 117-110, 119-108, 119-108.
Even though I thought the fight was closer than what the score had it Murat did hang tough and do his part, but Hopkins did overwhelm him with excellent boxing skills and tactics that mentally wore him down. Now Hopkins can focus on more bigger match-ups, but at 48 how long can the Bernard train stay on the track.